If you’re experience with Mexican food is limited to beans, rice, and shredded meat wrapped in a tortilla, you are really missing out. While I love a great street taco, there are few things I crave more than a complex Oaxacan mole made up of roughly 20 ingredients.
When I get the craving for great Oaxacan mole, I usually head to Guelaguetza in Koreatown. I have yet to find a red mole that I enjoy more. However, I can’t always make it to Ktown, so whenever I hear there is a good mole on the Westside, I pray that it can satisfy my cravings. After our weekly hike, iFlipForFood & SavoryHunter joined me for a mole feast at Monte Alban, located in a strip mall in West LA. I was little disappointed that they didn’t offer their lunch specials on weekends, but it’s still a good value spot.
We began our meal with a chicken tamale covered in a rich black mole. Chocolate, chili peppers, onions, garlic, and more than a dozen other ingredients really elevated this tamale to a nice start to the meal.
Next up was a memela with black mole and queso fresco. As you can see from the picture, it resembles a Mexican pizza, but with a base of corn masa.
Angela was craving menudo and she really enjoyed this version, but it featured a little too much beef stomach for my tastes.
Once I rehydrated with a few glasses of water, I went with a michelada – a bottle of beer mixed with tomato juice, lime juice, and assorted spices. When your bottled beer options are boring (thing Tecate and Corona) a michelada is a fun way to spice it up.
Since there were four us, we realized that we had no choice but to order all four moles and declare a winner. Unfortunately for our goal of choosing a favorite, we were split: Mark and I preferred the rich red and black moles, while SavoryHunter and Angela preferred the green mole. Fortunately for our taste buds, all four moles were strong. I’d skip the yellow if I could only order three, but it was a delicious and relatively cheap meal.
While my search for the best mole joint isn’t over, Monte Alban is my new go-to place for mole (and a michelada) on the Westside.
11927 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025